Attending the Local Energy Community and Renewable Energy Scheme (CARES) Conference this week, a key highlight from the event was Energy Minister Fergus Ewing’s announcement of a £10 Million fund being made available to support innovative large-scale low carbon local energy projects.
As a key speaker at the event, the Energy Minister informed the audience that nine projects will receive funding support through the Local Energy Challenge Fund.
What is the Local Energy Community and Renewable Energy Scheme (CARES)?
The CARES scheme was launched in August 2014 with an objective to demonstrate and support various initiatives with the value and benefit of local low carbon energy economies that integrate energy generation with energy use. The objectives of the initiative are to support communities and businesses through advice, knowledge share and funding for renewable energy projects. VG Consulting have long supported the initiative and seen the real benefits that it brings.
What Projects Will Be Supported with This Recent Fund News?
A number of successful projects were highlighted by the Energy Minister at the event and these included:
• Two ambitious district heating schemes
• Using surplus energy in Orkney to reduce fuel household costs
• Providing empowerment to Edinburgh tower block tenants and residents to collectively source, purchase and reduce energy fuel bills
• Support for a low head hydro power scheme based in Galashiels
The following excerpt was published on the Scotland.gov.uk website and quotes Mr Ewing’s speech:
“Community energy represents tremendous potential to empower people to make the most of their local resources.
“By creating a system that focuses on local energy we can help tackle some of our most pressing issues including fuel poverty, increasing costs and security of supply. That is why today, I am delighted to announce the awarding of over £10 million to nine projects stretching from Orkney to Galashiels.
“The successful projects include support for a pilot smart energy control system in Orkney and two heat pump projects in Perth and Glasgow to developing a new fuel source from the agricultural sector in Montrose.
“The Scottish Government has put in place a wide range of support to empower communities to take control of their local energy use and supply. The success of this support is demonstrated by the fact that we have achieved our community and locally owned target of 500MW by 2020, five years early.
“Putting communities at the heart of decisions about their local energy system and empowering them to take an economic stake in new developments is central to our distinctive approach to Scotland’s energy future.”
The speech and subsequent support to communities as well as the renewable energy industry in Scotland is one which is well received by VG Consulting’s Dave Anderson who commented following Mr Ewing’s Speech saying:
“I am delighted to here this news today. Communities win, the industry will see positive support to grow and the feel good factor of Scotland continuing to lead the way in renewable energy support is one that is very positive. Scotland’s Energy Minister certainly grabbed the audience’s attention and support with this news.
Working as a partner supplier to the renewable energy industry, VG Consulting are at the forefront to see some of the challenges that especially communities can face when planning and developing energy projects.
We look forward to these developments and as always VG Consulting will continue to support the industry as it moves forward.”
The Local Energy Challenge Fund is part of the Scottish Government’s CARES programme, managed by Local Energy Scotland. Local Energy Scotland is a consortium led by the Energy Saving Trust and comprising of Changeworks, The Energy Agency, SCARF and The Wise Group, with support from Ricardo-AEA.
You can find out more and access funding support opportunities from the Local Energy Challenge Fund by visiting: Local Energy Scotland's website here
To speak with one of our advisers and discuss your Local Energy Challenge Fund project planning requirements, call 01563 829 999